CHRIS & CHRIS
1.3 Freaky Stuff
Various possibilities. Him back different and sorry: unlikely, unwanted. Him back to twist worse for immediate book action: very likely indeed. Tal popping in for a late-night cuppa: a nice world irony I was in no mood for. Someone else for something else: didn’t cross my mind.
I’d been clear with him—and courteous, agreeing to his request. I was now furious: utter cheek, me as pure means. Zero boundaries, zero respect—I wasn’t going to open the door. But if I moved he’d hear me, start opening the letterbox to spew more poison. Perhaps he was already peeping through the keyhole. If so he wouldn’t be able to see me down on the doormat. I froze.
My light upstairs was on, he’d know I was still up. Sure enough he rang his eleven times again, followed by another eleven. And then next to me the door to the downstairs flat opened: my neighbour Glen in red silk dressing gown all furious: did I have the slightest consideration, did I know the time?
My visitor, aware I was in the hall due to Glen’s commotion, was indeed pushing open the letterbox trying to talk to me.
“Nim. I know you’re there. Are you OK? Please. I’m begging you. It’s me, Chris. Christopher Kipp. Open the door, I got to talk to you. Do you know?”
Many apologies, Glen. Give me one minute, I’d sort this.
Glen shuffled back muttering into his flat.
I’d been majestic for more than an hour now, vast provocations shrugged off. Limits reached I stood up, put the door chain on, yanked the chained door open as far as it would go. Into the sliver once more moved Christopher Kipp in his posh jacket and million-dollar hoodie, pushing his face close to me.
“Chris,” I hissed quietly for Glen’s sake. “Fuck off. Forget about the book. Just manage your ‘event’ without it, you precious dick, cos it is now feed for the sheep of the Brechfa Forest..”
“Nim,” he said, all fake-shocked now. “What are you talking about?”
“Just go,” I said, like I was talking to a child. “I’ll email, get you the book tomorrow. Now leave. There’s no point. No matter what I won’t give you the address.”
“What address? What are you talking about?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Nim. I just got here. I don’t understand anything you’re saying.”
I gaped at him. He gaped right back.
“Oh God,” he said, and his face changed. “Do you mean..? Has someone… was I just here? Before? Have I been here earlier tonight?”
Wow. I raised my eyebrows at him. “Enjoying your work, Chris. Admiring your stylings. Keen to see where this is going. Whole new territories you’re mapping out here. Good luck down this road mateykins.”
“I…OK, I thought I’d do this slowly but this is bad. There’s… a lot of freaky stuff. OK. So I came here earlier tonight and wanted something?”
“You came here earlier tonight and wanted something. Weak. Are you on drugs? You sound like Tal.”
“What did I want?”
“A soul. Goodbye Chris.” I was closing the door but he jammed it open with a filthy trainer, pushed his face in close over the chain.
“It’s totally freaky I know,” he said, much too close, bad breath, the top of his right index finger missing now, the finger he ran down his nose. “But the one who was here before? He wasn’t me, Nim. It’s so fucked up, Nim. I know how crazy this sounds. He’s… let me in and I’ll explain.”